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Fragment of Mantle or Poncho

Arts of the Americas

The elaborate anthropomorphic figures depicted on this fragment, termed Plant Beings by scholars, combine human appendages with monkey feet; a bird wing at the back; and the whiskers and stripes of the pampas cat. Each figure holds a staff in one hand and a vine of beans in the other. Sprouting seeds and plants emanating from serpent-headed streamers refer to fertility and rebirth. The streamers, which flow from the mouth, head, and wing of each figure, may be interpreted as blood, a symbol of life and death.

Las elaboradas figuras antropomórficas representadas en este fragmento, llamadas Seres Vegetales por académicos, combinan extremidades humanas con pies de mono; alas de pájaro en sus espaldas; y los bigotes y rayas del gato de las pampas. Cada figura sostiene un bastón en una mano y una rama de frijoles en la otra. Los brotes y plantas que emanan de volutas con cabezas de serpientes aluden a la fertilidad y al renacimiento. Las volutas, que fluyen de las bocas, cabezas y alas de cada figura pueden ser interpretadas como sangre, símbolo de vida y muerte.
MEDIUM Camelid fibers
DATES 100 B.C.E.-200 C.E.
DIMENSIONS 4 5/8 x 22 1/2 in. (11.7 x 57.2 cm) Other: 10 x 28in. (25.4 x 71.1cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of the Americas
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CREDIT LINE Gift of Morris de Camp Crawford, Jr.
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CAPTION Paracas. Fragment of Mantle or Poncho, 100 B.C.E.-200 C.E. Camelid fibers, 4 5/8 x 22 1/2 in. (11.7 x 57.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Morris de Camp Crawford, Jr., 1997.56.2. Creative Commons-BY
IMAGE overall, 1997.56.2_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Border fragment woven in camelid fiber with camelid embroidery. The imagery stands out against the light tan plain weave background. Represented are two figures with monkey feet, serrated legs, and a feline mask. The figures float in reverse directions and hold streamers of beans and staffs decorated with tuber-like plants. A border of this type would have been part of a mantle or poncho.
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